Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (46)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

46. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Transport his plans to increase funding for LocalLink services in the upcoming budget 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25676/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The allocation for Local Link services for 2021 will be subject to the annual Budgetary process and therefore is yet to be determined in the context of the Estimates processes.

However, for the information of the Deputy, I wish to advise that there has been a substantial increase in funding for Local Link services since 2016, going from €12.2 million in 2016 to over €21 million in 2019. In 2020 the total amount allocated for Local Link services is €23.4m, comprising Rural Transport Programme funding of €14.9m and €8.5m for Public Service Obligation funding for regular commuter services.

The additional funding since 2016 has enabled the introduction of over 75 new rural regular services to end 2019 and improvements to Demand Responsive Transport services. It has also enabled the piloting of evening/night-time services which have now been mainstreamed to address social isolation and unmet transport needs in rural areas. These new rural regular services operate at least five times per day over a 5, 6, 7 days per week schedule. They are specifically designed to ensure connectivity with other public transport services and better linkage of services between and within towns and villages.